Jul 2, 2008

The End of An Era: Malou

Malou Bautista

This past Saturday night we headed up to Mark and Tammy's lovely home once again. It seems like this has become the standard jumping off point for folks before they leave Saipan and fly away.

This time we were there for Malou Bautista. (You may recall that she is my "sensei" on the Managaha kitchen team. Everything I know about camp cooking I learned from her). Though she's not a student or a teacher,she is an institution around here, a regular and reliable part of our lives with her cheerful smile and gleeful laugh. Malou's been in Saipan for over twenty years and most of that time she has been a faithful employee of the SDA Clinic. We've known her and her kids since we came to Saipan. All of her kids have been long-time students at our school. Both of her older boys were my students for years and her youngest son was my student last year as well. Even after her kids left our school, Malou continued to be an active part of our school family--helping keep our school sparkling clean and helping out with the aforementioned Managaha camping trips. She's also been active part of our church since she was baptized a few years after we moved to Saipan. Every time I see Malou at church, I'm blessed by her kind heart and genuine spirit.

Saipan has been home to Malou and her family for a long time, but at long last it's time for them to move on. Malou's husband, Arnel, got a great job in New Zealand last year and now the rest of the family will be joining him there. They leave in just two weeks, on July16. It's a great opportunity for them and New Zealand is a way cool place to live (both literally and figuratively, especially since they'll be arriving in the dead of winter). But we will miss Malou and her family greatly and I know they'll miss us too.

As for next year's Managaha kitchen? I don't know what I'm going to do. . .but I guess I'm on my own. I'll try to make you proud, Malou!

Mike Stafford (our newest dentist at the SDA Clinic) Ernie Lacorte (a friend and parent of three of our students), Malou and me indulge in karaoke with joyful abandon. The mic was hot that night! I think my favorite, was when a whole group of us sang "Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain."


Mai said...

Even though I'm not in Saipan, I think I'll miss Malou more once she leaves. I'm sad to see her go - there's gonna be lots of huge holes in Saipan when she's gone :(

Malou Villegas-Bautista said...

You are all dear in my heart. The memories goes with me where ever I go. You are all welcome to visit me..